Atheism and loneliness vs. Christian love, fellowship and joy

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Atheists have higher suicide rates than theists. See: Atheism and suicide

Atheistic cultures in secular Europe and elsewhere have a significant problem with the issue of loneliness (see: Atheism and loneliness).

This is especially true when atheistic countries are compared to religious cultures where an extended family and a sense of community prevails.[1][2][3] In addition, numerous studies and other data indicate that atheists have lower emotional intelligence (see: Atheiam and emotional intelligence).

Atheism and quarrelsomeness

See also: Atheist factions and Atheism and arrogance and Atheism and love

Jacques Rousseau wrote in the Daily Maverick: "Elevatorgate..has resulted in three weeks of infighting in the secular community. Some might observe that we indulge in these squabbles fairly frequently."[4] An ex-atheist wrote: "As an Atheist for 40 years, I noticed that there is not just a wide variety of Atheist positions, but there exists an actual battle between certain Atheist factions."[5] See also: Schools of atheist thought and Atheist movement

American Atheists
Nate Phelps spoke at the 2009 American Atheists convention.[6] (photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement), Title: Nate Phelps AAC00 (a very brave man)

Testimony of Blair Scott about atheist infighting with the atheist movement

See also: Atheist movement and Atheism and anger and Atheism and bitterness

Blair Scott served on the American Atheists board of directors. Mr. Scott formerly served as a State Director for the American Atheists organization in the state of Alabama. On December 1, 2012 he quit his post as a director of outreach for the American Atheist due to infighting within the American atheist movement.[7]

Mr. Blair wrote:

I have spent the last week mulling over what I want to do at this point in the movement. I’m tired of the in-fighting: at every level. I am especially tired of allowing myself to get sucked into it and engaging in the very behavior that is irritating..me.[8]
See also: Atheism and social intelligence

Christian love, fellowship and joy

Jesus Christ and his apostles taught a gospel of love.[9] For example, the New Testament teaches that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).

In his article The Triumph of the Gospel of Love, Monk Themistocles (Adamopoulo) wrote:

It is generally agreed by scholars and saints that the teaching of "love" and charity represent one of the essential dimensions of the Gospel of Jesus and the Gospel of Paul. Accordingly, from the extant words and parables of Jesus many concern themselves with the message of love. For example on the Sunday of Meat Fare, from the Gospel of Matthew, we hear Jesus identifying Himself and in solidarity with the destitute, the suffering, the rejected and the oppressed, calling for and rewarding altruistic philanthropy:

"... I was hungry and you fed me, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, when I was a stranger you took me in, when naked you clothed me, when I was ill you came to my help, when in prison you visited me ... I tell you this anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did it for me." (Matt 25:35-36, 40)...

Christians undertook a great deal of almsgiving to the poor not only to fellow believers but to pagans as well. So amazed was the anti-Christian pagan emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD), with the sheer benevolence and excellence of Christian philanthropy that he was forced to admit in wonder their superiority over paganism in matters of charity:

"These godless Galileans (ie. Christians) feed not only their own poor but ours: our poor lack our care" (Ep. Sozom. 5:16).[10]
Watoto Children's Choir from Kampala, Uganda

Got Questions Ministry writes about Christian fellowship:

Koinonia is a Greek word that occurs 20 times in the Bible. Koinonia’s primary meaning is “fellowship, sharing in common, communion.” The first occurrence of koinonia is Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Christian fellowship is a key aspect of the Christian life. Believers in Christ are to come together in love, faith, and encouragement. That is the essence of koinonia.

Philippians 2:1-2 declares, “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” Koinonia is being in agreement with one another, being united in purpose, and serving alongside each other. Our koinonia with each other is based on our common koinonia with Jesus Christ. First John 1:6-7 says, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”[11]

In December 2003, the University of Warwick reported:

Dr. Stephen Joseph, from the University of Warwick, said: "Religious people seem to have a greater purpose in life, which is why they are happier. Looking at the research evidence, it seems that those who celebrate the Christian meaning of Christmas are on the whole likely to be happier.[12]

The ex-atheist C.S. Lewis became a Christian and wrote a book entitled Surprised by Joy.[13]

Religiosity and higher empathy for others

See also: Atheism and love and Atheism and sadism and Atheism and mass murder

In 2007 the Baptist Press reported:

...a pollster at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, found that adults who profess a belief in God are significantly more likely than atheists to say that forgiveness, patience, generosity and a concern for others are "very important." In fact, the poll found that on 11 of 12 values, there was a double-digit gap between theists and atheists, with theists more likely to label each value "very important."

The survey by sociologist and pollster Reginald Bibby examined the beliefs of 1,600 Canadians, 82 percent who said they believed in "God or a higher power" and 18 percent who said they did not.[14]

Atheism and uncharitableness

A graphic from the website Answers for Atheist.[15]

Concerning the issue of atheism and charity, charitable giving by atheists and agnostics in America is significantly less than by theists, according to a study by the Barna Group:

The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.[16]

A comprehensive study by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam found that religious people are more charitable than their irreligious counterparts.[17][18] The study revealed that forty percent of worship service attending Americans volunteer regularly to help the poor and elderly as opposed to 15% of Americans who never attend services.[19][20] Moreover, religious individuals are more likely than non-religious individuals to volunteer for school and youth programs (36% vs. 15%), a neighborhood or civic group (26% vs. 13%), and for health care (21% vs. 13%).[21][22]

Arthur C. Brooks wrote in Policy Review regarding data collected in the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey (SCCBS) (data collected by in 2000 by researchers at universities throughout the United States and the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research):

The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions.[23]

See also

Notes

  1. India Anthropologist Finds Denmark Wanting : Research: He laments the loneliness and lack of human values in remote village and asks if prosperity can be achieved without such sacrifices, LA Times archives, June 20, 1993|CHRISTOPHER FOLLETT | REUTERS
  2. The Philippines is a very religious country and atheism is rare in the Philippines. An article on What are Filipino families like?
  3. Filipino values - togetherness
  4. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can rip my soul
  5. An atheist new world order? Is the Rational Response Squad making an attempt?
  6. http://lifewithoutfaith.com/?p=183
  7. An Open Letter from Blair Scott
  8. An Open Letter from Blair Scott
  9. The Triumph of the Gospel of Love by Monk Themistocles (Adamopoulo)
  10. The Triumph of the Gospel of Love by Monk Themistocles (Adamopoulo)
  11. What is koinonia?
  12. University of Warwick (December 2003). "Psychology researcher [Dr. Stephen Joseph] says spiritual meaning of Christmas brings more happiness than materialism". Scienceblog. Retrieved on July 24, 2014.
  13. Suprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis Documentary
  14. Foust, Michael (October 23, 2007). "Poll: Atheists less likely to 'do good'" Baptist Press. Retrieved on July 20, 2014.
  15. Answers for Atheists
  16. Atheists and Agnostics Take Aim at Christians The Barna Update, 2007.
  17. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  18. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  19. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  20. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  21. Religious people make better citizens, study says by Pew Research Forum, May 13, 2009
  22. Religious people are 'better neighbors' by USA Today, 11/14/2010
  23. Brooks, Arthur C., faith and charitable giving Policy Review, Oct-Dec 2003, p.2.